Congestive Heart Failure

About 5 million people in the United States have some form of heart failure, and nearly 550,000 new cases are diagnosed each year. The risk of developing heart failure increases with age, and it is estimated that 1 out of every 10 people over the age of 65 will be diagnosed with heart failure. Today, heart failure is the single most frequent cause of hospitalization in people over the age of 65. Heart failure accounts for anywhere from 5 to 10 percent of all hospital admissions.

What Causes Congestive Heart Failure (CHF)?

  • Coronary Artery Disease (CAD). CAD is a disease which affects the arteries that supply blood and oxygen to the head, causing decreased blood flow to the heart muscle. If the arteries become blocked or severely narrowed, the heard becomes starved for oxygen and nutrients.
  • Heart Attack. A heart attack may occur when a coronary artery becomes suddenly blocked, stopping the flow of blood to the heart muscle and damaging it
  • Cardiomyopathy. Cardiomyopathy makes it hard for the heart to deliver blood to the body, and can lead to heart failure. It can be caused by a variety of things; examples include infections and alcohol or drug abuse.
  • Conditions that overwork the heart. These conditions include high blood pressure (hypertension), valve disease, thyroid disease, kidney disease, diabetes, and heart defects present at birth. In addition, heart failure can occur when several diseases or conditions are present at once.

Symptoms of Congestive Heart Failure

  • Shortness of breath with exercise
  • Difficulty breathing at rest or when lying down
  • Dry, hacking cough or wheezing
  • Weight gain from fluid buildup
  • Swelling in feet, ankles, legs, and abdomen
  • Dizziness, fatigue, and weakness
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat

Living with CHF

Most cases of CHF cannot be cured, but heart failure can be managed. Medical treatment and lifestyle changes can improve symptoms and prevent further loss of heart function.

Medical Treatments

  • Surgery
  • Medications
  • Supplemental oxygen
  • Careful management of underlying conditions

Lifestyle Choices:

  • Quit smoking
  • Lower cholesterol
  • Manage underlying conditions
  • Control stress
  • Eat a healthy diet (low in sodium and saturated fat)
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Limit alcohol
  • Exercise and stay active
  • See your doctor regularly and follow your healthcare provider’s instructions

How Our Home Care Team Can Help

Taking care of home and personal needs, as well as following the right care plan, can be challenging for patients who live with CHF. Home care can help.

Services We Can Provide

Our services include but are not limited to:

  • Supervising overall care on a regular basis
  • Providing assistance with activities of daily living
  • Assisting with personal care
  • Assisting with exercise and mobility
  • Reminding clients to take medications
  • Keeping records
  • Preparing meals
  • Doing laundry
  • Shopping for groceries
  • Running errands
  • Escorting clients to appointments
  • Providing companionship and conversation
  • Providing respite care
  • Assisting clients with confusion, disorientation, or mental health issues
  • Light housekeeping
  • And many more!